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remarks, that “throughout his long And led their life in great travail,» work, he shows, for his time, a very

And oft in hard stour ? of bataill, remarkable feeling for the art of poetry, Wan right great price 3 of chivalry, both by the variety which he studies in And were voided of cowardy.

As was King Robert of Scotland, the treatment and disposition of his sub

That hardy was of heart and hand ; ject, and by the rare temperance and

And good Sir James of Douglas, self-restraint which prevents him from

That in his time sae worthy was, ever overdoing what he is about, either That of his price and his bounty, 4 by prosing or raving. Even his patriot- In far lands renowned was he. ism, warm and steady as it is, is wholly of them I think this book to ma ;5 without any vulgar narrowness or fero- Now God give grace that I may swa

Treat it, and bring it till ending, But it is unnecessary to multiply tes- That I say nought but soothfast thing ! timonies to his various excellencies : these will be best seen in the specimens

THE VALUE OF FREEDOM. which follow :

Ah ! freedom is a noble thing !
PREFACE TO THE BRUCE,

Freedom makes man to have liking ! (Modernised in spelling.)

Freedom all solace to man gives !

He lives at ease, that freely lives ! Stories to read are delitable,

A noble heart may have none ease, Suppose that they be nought but fable :

Na ellys o nought that may him please, Then should stories that soothfast were,

If freedom fail: for free liking And they were said on gude manner,

Is yearned 7 o'er all other thing. Have double pleasance in hearing.

Na he that aye has lived free
The first pleasance is the carpyng ;'

May not know well the property,
And the tother the soothfastness,
That schawys the thing right as it wes:

The anger, na the wretched doom
And such things that are likand ?

That is coupled to foul thraldom.

But, if he had essayed it,
Till mannes hearing are pleasand.
Therefore I wald fain set my will,

Then all perquer he should it wit,

And should think freedom more to prize Giff my wit might suffice theretill;

Than all the gold in world that is.
To put in writ a soothfast story,
That it last aye forth in memory,

Thus contrary things evermare

Discoverings of the tother are.
Swa3 that nae time of length it let,
Na ger+ it hally be forget.
For auld stories that men reads

BRUCE'S HUMANITY.
Represents to them the deeds
Of stalwart folk, that lived ere, 5

And when that they all ready were, Right as they then in presence were.

The king has heard a woman cry;
And certes, they should weill have prize
That in their time were wight and wise ; Labour, effort. 5 Make.

Turmoil.

6 Nor else. 1 Talk, relating.

5 Before.
3 Praise.

7 Eagerly desired. * Agreeable. 4 Nor let.

4 Goodness, worth. 8 Perfectly; parccur?

1

1

3 So.

6 Strong.

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2

He asked what that was in hy."

And frae' the heart be discomfit
It is the layndar, a sir," said ane, The hody is not worth a mite.
"That her child-ill right now has tane ;

Therefore I trow that good ending
And mon leave now behind us here ; Shall follow till our beginning.
Therefore she makes yon evil cheer.” And whether I say not this you till,
The king said, “ Certes, it were pity For that ye should follow my will
That she in that point left should be ; To fight; but in you all shall be.
For certs, I trow there is no man

For if you think speedful that we
That he ne will rue a woman than." Fight, we shall, and if ye will
His host all, there arrested he,

We leave, your liking to fulfill.
And gert 3 a tent soon stented 4 be; I shall consent on alkyn wise ?
And gert her gang in hastily,

To do right as ye will devise
And other women to be her by.

Therefore say of your will plainly."
While she was delivered, he bade,

And with a voice then 'gan they cry And syne forth on his wayis rade,

“Good King for owtyn 3 mare delay
And, how she forth should carried be, To morne as soon as ye see day
Or ever he forth fur,5 ordained he,

Ordain you hale for the battle
This was a full great courtesy !

For doute of deed we shall nought fail :
That swilk a king and so mighty

Nor no pain shall refused be
Gert his men dwell on this manner

Untill we've made our country free."
But for a poor lavender!

When the king had heard, so manfully
They spake of fighting, and so hardily,

In heart, great gladship 'gan he ta ;4
THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN, And said : “Lordings, since

ye Bruce's Address.

Shape 5 we us therfore in the morning.

Sae that we, by the sun rising, “Lordings, we ought to love and luff

Have heard mass ; and buskytó weill
Almighty God that sits abuff7

Ilk7 man in till his own eschell, 8
That sends us sa fair beginning.

Without the villion arrayed
It is a great discomforting

In battalions, with banners displayed.
Till our faes that on this wise

And look ye no wise break array.
Sa soon has been rebutted twice.

And, as ye love me, I you pray
For when they of their host shall hear

That ilk man, for his own honour,
And know soothly on what maner

Purvey 9 him a good banner.

9
Their vaward that was sa stout

And when it comes to the fight,
And syne yon other jolly rout,

Ilk man set heart, will, and might,
That I trow of the best men were,

To stint to our foe's meikle" pride.
That they might get amang them there,

On horse they will arrayèd ride ;
Were rebutted so suddenly;

And come on you in full great hy."
I trow and knows it all clearly

Meet them with spears hardily;
That many a heart shall wavering be
That seemed ere of great bounty.

* From the time.

7 Each. ? Everyway.

8 Division. 1 In haste. 2 Lavender, a laundress, 3 Without.

9 Provide. washer-woman. Lavendière, Fr.

4 Began he to take. 10 Bring down. 3 Caused. 4 Stretched. 5 Fared. 5 Prepare.

II Great. 6 Praise. 7 Above.

6 Ready armed.

12 Haste.

will sa,

12

And think then on the meikle ill
That they and theirs has done us till ;
And are in will yet for to do,
If they have might to come there to.
And certes, me thinks well that ye
Forowt? abasing ought to be
Worthy, and of great wasselagis,a
For we have three great advantages.
The first is, that we have the right;
And for the right aye God will fight.
The tother is, that they coming are,
For lippening 3 of their great power
To seek us in our own land;
And has brought here, right to our hand,
Riches in so great quantity,
That the poorest of you shall be
Both rich, and mighty therewith all,
If that we win, as well may fall.
The third is, that we for our lives,
And for our children, and for our wives,
And for our freedom, and for our land,
Are strained into battle for to stand.
And they for their might anerly4
And for 5 they let of us heychtly,
And for they would destroy us all,
Maiss7 them to fight : but yet may fall
That they shall rue their bargaining.
And certes I warn you of a thing ;
That happened them, as God forbid
That died on rood 8 for mankind heid!
That they win us openly,
They shall of us have no mercy.
And, since we know their felon will,
Me thinks it should accord to skill,
To set stoutness against felony ;
And make so gat a jeopardy.
Wherefore I you require, and pray,
That with all your might, that ye may,
Ye press you at the beginning,
But, cowardice or abasing,

To meet them at their first assemble
So stoutly, that the hindmost tremble.
And men of your great manhood,
Your worship and your doughty? deed;
And of the joy that we abide,
If that us fall, as well may tide,
Hap to vanquish this great battle.
In
your

hands without fail
Ye bear honour, praise, and riches,
Freedom, wealth, and blythness;
If ye contene3 you manfully.
And the contrar all halily
Shall fall, if

ye

let cowardice
And wickedness you suppress.
Ye might have lived into thrawldom:
But, for 4 ye yearn to have freedom,
Ye are assembled here with me;
Therefore is needful that

ye be
Worthy and wight, but 5 abasing.
And I warn you well of a thing,
That more mischief may fall us, nane,
Than in their hands to be tane :
For they should slay us, I wate weel,
Right as they did my brother Neil.
But when I mene of your stoutness,
And of the many great prowess,
That ye have done so worthily:
I trust and trow sickerly?
To have plain vic'try in this fight.
For though our foes have meikle might,
They have the wrong; and succudry, 8
And covetous of senyowryo
Amowys them for owtyn more.
Na us char dread them, but before : 11
For strength of this place as ye see
Shall let us environèd to be.
And I pray you als 12 specially,
Both more and less commonly,
That none of you for greediness

7

8

10

I Without.
2 Valour.
3 Trusting.
4 Only ; alone.
5 Because.

6 Meaning here obscure.
7 Make.
8 Cross.
9 Without.

I Valour.
2 Valiant.
3 Conduct.
4 Because.
5 Without.
6 Think.

7 Believe surely.
8 Presumption.
9 Lordship.
10 Meaning obscure.
11 We need only fear them in
front.

12 Also

Have eye to take of their riches ;
No prisoneris for to ta'
Untill ye see them contraried sa ?
That the field anerly yours be. 3
And then, at your likeing may ye
Take all the riches that there is.
If ye will work upon this wise,
Ye shall have victory sickerly.4
I wate nocht 5 what more say shall I.
But all wate ye what honour is :
Conteneo (you) then on sic awise 7
That your honour aye saved be.
And I hycht8 here in leautė;9
If any dies in this battle,
His heir, but 10 ward, relief or taile,"
On the first day shall wield
All be he never so young of eild. 12
Now make you ready for to fight:
God help us that is maist of might!
I rede, 13 armed all night that we be,
Purwayed in battle so, that we
To meet our foes aye be boune. 14

As I before, here, have you tauld,
When he saw the bataillis sae
Assemble, and together gae,
And saw the archers shot stoutly;
With all them of his company,
In hy? upon them 'gan he ride ;
And overtook them at a side ;
And rushed among them so rudely,
Sticking them so dispiteously,
And in such fashion bearing them down,
And slaying them for outyn ransoun ;3
That they them scailed everilkane. 4
And from that time forth there was nane
That assembled, shot to ma.5
When Scottis archers saw, that, they sae
Were rebutted, they wax hardy
And with all their might shot eagerly
Among the horsemen, that there raid ;
And woundis wide to them they made ;
And slew of them a full great deal.
They bare them hardily and weel.
For frae their fae's archeris were
Scailed, as I said till you ere,
That ma 5 nae, they were be great thing,
Sae that they dread nought their shooting,
They wax sae hardy that them thought
They should set all their faes at nought.

The thick of the Battle.

Defeat of the English Archers. The English archers shot so fast, That, might their shot have ony last, It had been hard to Scottis men. But King Robert that well gan ken That their archers were perilous, And their shot right hard and grievous, Ordained forthwith the assemblé, His marshal with a great menye, Five hundred armed into steel, That on light horse were horsèd weel, For to prick among the archers; And so assail them with their spears, That they na layser 15 have to shoot. This marshal that I of mute, 16 That Sir Robert of Keith was called,

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1 Take.
2 Defeated so.
3 Be yours only.
4 Surely,
5 Know not.
6 Conduct.

7 Such a manner.
8 Promise.
9 Loyalty.
10 Without

13 Advise. 14 Ready. 15 Leisure. 16 Treat of.

11 Tax.

12 Age.

There might no armour stynt: their strak. Where all the field of blood was red. They too fruchyt? that they might o'ertak; Arms and quhytyss' that they bear, And with axes such duschys3 gave With blood was so defouled there That they helms and heads clave. That they might not descroyita be. And their faes right hardily

A mighty God! who then might see Met them, and dang 4 on them dough tely That Stewart, Walter, and his rout, With weapons that were styth 5 of steel: And the good Douglas that was so stout, There was the battle strekytó weel. Fighting into that stalwart stour,3 So great din there was of dints,

We should say that till all honour As weapons upon armour stynts;7 They were worthy, that, in that fight, And of spears sae great bresting8 So fast pressed their foes might And sic thrang and sic thursting,

That them rushed where they yeid. 4 Sic girning, groaning, and so great Their men might see many a steed A noise, as they 'gan other beat;

Fleeing astray, that lord had nane. And ensigns on ilka side ;

A Lord! who then good tents had tane 6 Giving and taking wounds wide,

Till the good Earl of Murray, That it was hideous for to hear :

And his, that so great routs gae, All their four battillis 9 with that were And fought so fast in that battle Fighting in a front wholily.

Tholing 7 sic paines and travail A mighty God! how doughtely

That they and theirs made sic debate,8 Sir Edward the Bruce and his men, That where they come, they made them Among their faes contened 10 them then! gate 9 Fighting in so good covine,"

Then might men here enseynyeis 10 cry: So hardy, worthy, and so fine,

And Scottis men cry hardily That their vaward rushed 12 was;

"On them! On them! On them! they And, maugre!3 thair, left the place:

fail !" And till their great rout, to warand 14 With that so hard they 'gan assail, They went; that tane had upon hand And slew all that they might overta, So great annoy, that they were effrayit 15 And the Scottis archers alsua For Scottis, that them hard assayit, Shot among them so deliverly," That then were in a schiltrum 16 all. Engrieving them so gretumly, 12 Wha happened in that fight to fall That what for them, that with them fought, I trow again he should not rise:

That so great routis to them wrought, There might men see, on many wise And pressed them full eagrely ; Hardiments eschewed 17 doughtely ; And what for arowis, that felly And many that wight were and hardy, Many great wounds 'gan them ma, 13 Soon lying under feet all dead ;

And slew fast of their horse alsua ;

That they wandyst 14 a little way. I Stand.

10 Conducted. 2 Broke.

II Order and skill. 3 Hard blows. 12 Driven back.

I Woollen coats.

8 Contention. 4 Struck.

13 Against their will. Recognised 9 Way for themselves. 5 Hard. 14 Shelter.

3 Tumult.

10 War cries. 6 Extended. 15 Frightened.

4 Went.

11 Skilfully. 7 Strikes.

16 Arranged in round 5 Heed. ? Breaking order.

6 Taken.

13 Make. 9 Battalions. 17 Daring achieved. 7 Enduring.

2

12 Greatly.

14 Shyed.

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